14 February 2012

Uganda: Commission of Inquiry Into Upe Wants More Funds After 3 Years

Members of parliament today tasked education and sports minister Jessica Alupo to explain why the commission of inquiry set up in 2009 to investigate universal primary/secondary Education funds has never submitted any interim report.

The matter was raised by Serere County MP Alice Alaso last year when the commission that has already been operating for three years and has used over shs 6b so far appealed to parliament to pass a supplementary for more funds.

The commission was instituted in December 2009 by the president to investigate the alleged mismanagement of UPE/USE funds and has been extended four times

Alupo in her speech said she can not comment on the adequacy or efficiency of the commission because no interim report has been submitted to her so she does not know anything about the operations of the commission.

The legislators asked her what has been the basis of these extensions but she had no answer and she said the commission is supervised by the president.

Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda asked what her job in the ministry is if it is the president that supervises even an ordinary commission of inquiry.

Yaguma Wilberforce from Kashari wondered how shs 6b can be spent on a mere commission of inquiry when Mbarara district gets only shs 400m for UPE. He described it as a reckless diversion of funds from a crucial programme to a redundant commission of inquire that has not bore any fruits.

The other legislators suggested that the commissioners appear before the parliamentary social services committee and that the money they have used should be regarded as an advance until they have accounted for it to the satisfaction of parliament.

Fort portal municipality MP Alex Ruhunda said this is a manifestation of a crisis in this country which is being controlled by "sophisticated vampires" and are determined to drag every one in the mess.

He says some one is generously giving these commissioners money so that they compromise them and they do not expose the illegalities.

Tumwebaze Frank of Kibaale wondered why commissions of inquiry are funded by the agencies they are inquiring where there are high chances of compromise.

He suggested that all those investigations should be left to the auditor general and be funded by government itself.

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